Everyone wanting to lose a pound or a hundred is looking for the latest and greatest diet to change their life and their body.  There have been as many diets as there has been dieters.  They come by brands and names and take the nation by storm only to leave the population getting larger and broader.  If we keep doing the same things, we will keep getting the same results.      

Any diet that restricts calories will produce weight loss.  The more restrictive the diet the faster the initial weight drops.  The problem with short term diets is we get short term results.  I’m not from the school that says that “Diets Don’t Work”.  Of course they do.  Problem is, the vast majority of dietary changes are not sustainable and therefore drive us into the weight loss / weight gain syndrome…the YOYO Syndrome.      

We must change our diet to reduce excess body fat.  We must change our eating habits to a dietary regimen that is long lasting and sustainable.  To do this takes months of repetition and training.  If someone only changes their eating habits for a short time in order to drop 15 or 20 pounds, they are destined to return to their typical eating pattern and return all the weight they lost and most likely more weight in the future.      

In designing a long lasting, reduced calorie, dietary plan that will allow someone to continue to lose and then maintain a healthy weight requires several things.      

The plan must taste good     

The plan must allow eating     

The plan must be simple     

The plan must be cost neutral to regular eating and grocery shopping     

The plan must be reproducible long term     

The plan must show significant progress along the weight loss journey     

Finally, the plan must be modifiable to increase or decrease caloric needs depending on the patients needs and once they reach maintenance weight.      

No one will stay on a dietary weight loss program that doesn’t taste good or allow them to eat to avoid and control hunger.  No one will stay on a complex plan that requires special equipment or rigid timing.  No one will stay on a plan that is not showing weight loss progress from the first week.      

I have worked with thousands of weight loss and weight maintenance patients over the years and those that succeed at both aspects of body size control, have developed an eating style that contains all of the above listed conditions.  The National Weight Registry Survey demonstrates that these same parameters work over decades and for tens of thousands of people.      

To make this long term dietary change, we must change our thinking.  We must abandon the mindset that food is scarce and I must get my share now.  We must stop thinking short term weight loss in order to go back to poor eating.  We must learn that food can taste good and be satisfying, but portions must be reduced and dense calorie foods may need to be left behind.      

The best diet in the world must be combined with daily physical activity above and beyond our normal work and busy activities.  It must be performed in the face of normal metabolic and hormonal functions in your body.  It must also be something that can be measured and have self accountability factors programmed in.      

Think deeply about your current eating pattern.  Think about what types of foods you prefer to eat.  Think about the volume of food you intake.  Think about your daily physical activity.  You may need help planning a program that works for you.  I advise a plan of small snack-like meals spread evenly over the day with one or two small lean and green meals.  This may encompass eating 5-6 times a day.  I advise reducing total carb intake to one third of daily calories, increasing protein to a third of daily needs, and maintain the final third with healthy fats.      

By eating these small mini-meals, you avoid hunger, you are satisfied, and you develop a regular eating pattern and stop eating spontaneously.  This can be done and you’re just the person to do it.  Stop the short term skinny chase and get on the long term journey to reduce weight rapidly as well as permanently.  Change is not easy, but if we pay the price to change our bad habits now, we will be able to Live Lean, Live Long, and Live our Lives to the Fullest.